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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
The Observer

Belles soccer battles but falls to No. 9 Calvin Knights

The Saint Mary’s Belles’ soccer team fought hard, but ultimately fell 4-0 against the No. 9 ranked Calvin Knights on Tuesday.  

Within the first two minutes of the game, Calvin had a shot on goal, however it would miss left. A little over two minutes later, the Knights would have another shot on goal and this time, Belles’ sophomore goalkeeper Kara Stacey would save it. 

However, the Belles’ would not be able to hold back the Knights for much longer, and within the sixth minute of the game Calvin player Lindsey Houtsma would find the back of the net, setting the Belles back 1-0. 

Saint Mary’s would not allow for a complete Knight takeover, and for a stretch of time the Belles were able to maintain possession. However, they were unable to capitalize on an opportunity. In the eighteenth minute, Mia Judd capitalized on a corner kick by  Tatum Goodling to bring the Calvin lead 2-0.

The Belles would have the ball in scoring range multiple times throughout the match, however they were unable to ever find the back of the net. 

While their offensive side was weak, the Belles were able to keep up on the defensive end of the field. Within the thirty-third minute of the half, the Knights had another breakaway opportunity. However, freshman defender Lauren Ryan was able to stop it before the Knights had another scoring play. 

Possession would then return to the Belles, which would give senior forward Jillian Bowen a corner kick. While she was able to get it into the middle of the box, the Belles would prove unsuccessful again. 

While Saint Mary’s would have multiple scoring opportunities and hold possession for a decent portion of the remaining ten minutes, the halftime score sat at 2-0 Knights. 

The Belles’ defense came out hot in the second half. But again, they were only able to hold off the Knights for so long. By minute 58, Calvin had scored, increasing their lead 3-0. The Knights would have another scoring opportunity a few minutes later — this time, Stacey stopped the ball. Again, three minutes later, Stacey made another save to keep the score 3-0. 

The fourth and final goal for the Knights would come in minute 74. While the Belles then had a scoring chance, again they were unable to finish it. The Knights would end the game with a 4-0 advantage. 

After their loss to Trine, head coach Farkhod Kurbonov said, “The score is gonna get out of control.” But the Belles were able to keep the nationally-ranked team to only four goals. 

This is even more impressive when one accounts for the fact that the Knights had 27 shots to the Belles’ three. Stacey was also able to match her career high of 11 saves for the Belles, keeping them from a blowout loss. 

The Belles will return home to play Adrian on Saturday, Oct. 8. Saint Mary’s has played Adrian College practically every year since 1998 (excluding 2009 and 2020). At the moment, the Bulldogs have the advantage with 19 wins to Saint Mary’s 16. However, at home the Belles have won 9-8. The Bulldogs currently have a 5-4-2 schedule on the season. But the Belles will look to put a win to their record.

Kickoff begins at 2 p.m. EST. 

Contact Olivia Schatz at